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Cross-border study : Choosing how to study - Must read

What is a franchise?

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You’ve decided you want to get a degree from a university abroad, you know what you want to study, you’re looking into your options, when you stumble across yet another term you don’t understand: franchise.


Well, ok, you probably DO know what franchise means in business terms - a type of licence to use another business or brand’s name and trademarks - but what does it mean when it comes to international education? And how could it affect your study abroad choice?


As always, we’re here to unpick the language used in international study and hopefully help make your choice easier…


The definition of franchise in education


It’s not that dissimilar to what a business franchise is, actually. Put simply, it’s where one institution offers courses that lead to qualifications from another university. So, one university will accredit the qualification but the actual teaching and delivery of it will be elsewhere.


Let’s put this in a real world example so we can properly explain: the University of Westminster in the UK has entered into a franchise with a Chinese university. Meaning, students can attend the Chinese university but come away with a University of Westminster degree. 


What makes them good?


Well the main thing is you get to obtain an international qualification without having to travel miles across the globe. So if there are franchise options in your home country, you could save a huge amount of money but still get a high quality education that might not be available at your local universities.


Which universities have franchises?


More than you probably think! A number of universities offer courses at other institutions, internationally and within one country. Often the franchise university will only offer a few courses from the abroad university, so you might find the subjects are quite niche. Our best advice to see if there are any franchise options available to you is to run a search here on Hotcourses Abroad, as our filters allow you to narrow down results and see whether there are options to get foreign degrees closer to home.


Will the franchise university really be as good as the one the name comes from?


This is a difficult one to answer. In terms of the course, definitely. The university who has set up the franchise will be strict on ensuring the teaching and testing matches the standards they set. However, things outside of your course might not be as good or, conversely, could be better, since they will be run by the institution you’re actually physically studying at. So, eg, the canteen might be different. The qualification you get will be the same though.


Is a franchise university the same as a branch campus?


Usually if a university is referred to as a ‘franchise’ of another, it means a number of courses are accredited by another university, not all of them. However with a branch campus, all of the courses come from the abroad university. 


A franchise university will also still run other things itself such as student support whereas usually with a branch campus, that sort of service is also run by the university that awards the degrees.


How to find universities with franchises


Now you know what a franchise is within international education, you can go ahead and search for what you’re interested in studying to see if there are any suited to you. Use our ‘cross-border’ filter to specify that you’d consider a franchise. Best of luck!



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